TRK: UCSB’s Bright wins 1500 at Cal-Nevada Championships

San Diego – The UCSB Track and Field teams had a successful weekend at the Cal-Nevada Championships. Held at UC San Diego, the Gauchos competed against 22 men’s teams and 23 women’s teams representing collegiate programs in California and Nevada. The Gaucho men finished fourth overall in the men’s team scoring while the women finished 9th.

Bright Start to The Meet
On a weekend where several season best team performances were established, Jackson Bright found his way to the top of the podium in the men’s 10,000m Friday evening to conclude day one of the competition. Toeing the line as the sun descended over La Jolla before fading into the Pacific near the race conclusion, Bright found himself in a tactical race, slowly working his way back up to the leader before securing the win with an all out sprint to the line. Bright recorded a time of 31:03.77 in his 10,000m debut and was greeted at the podium by Assistant Coach Amanda Moreno who passed out the medals to the top-3 finishers, a Cal-Nevada custom.

Women’s Distance
Bailey Miller also found herself in a tactical race Friday in the women’s 5,000m, finishing 6th in 18:00.22. The Cal-Nevada Championship is scored 10-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1, scoring nine instead of the usual 8 more common place for track and field. In the women’s 1500m, Tori Tsolis ran a new personal best time of 4:39.31 taking 5th overall in the event. Tsolis is on a roll after her 3,000m break through at UC Riverside one week ago.

It’s Steeple Season!
It’s early April and in southern California that means the 3,000m steeplechase starts to appear in collegiate meet programs. After running several open races in the 3k and 1500m in March, steeplers are now primed to take on the water barriers in what is always a star attraction for any meet. Bryce Rausa, last years 1500m Big West bronze medalist and 3k steeple scorer made his debut over the barriers this weekend firing off the second best time of his career in 9:10.12. Rausa took second in the meet and was just off his PR time of 9:07.68. On the women’s side, Maxine Goyette ran almost a 16 second PR of 10:47.93 to take second in the women’s 3k steeple. Goyette’s time breaks her into the UCSB all-time lists for the first time in her career.

4 x 400m Season Best
The UCSB men set a new season best in the men’s 4 x 400m relay to earn a trip to the podium. The Gauchos finished third with a time of 3:15.23. The Gauchos saw a 47.9 split from Karlon Johnson and a 47.6 split from Eric Severiano.  Severiano narrowly missed another podium with his open 400m performance of 48.82, a seasn best time and fourth overall in the final.

Johnson Update
Sean Johnson took fifth in the men 110HH in 14.59.  Johnson reached the final with the 8th overall qualifying time (14.55) in Friday’s preliminary rounds.

Evan Walker took 6th overall in the competition in the men’s 100m in 10.86.

Scrappy Newcomers 
Freshman Zach Tombol and Jack Morgenson each made the final in their events on Saturday. Tombol would go on to finish 9th in mens javelin with a mark of 173’4 in his Gaucho debut. Morgenson took 9th in the men’s 800m in 1:55.82, running in a final with five other freshman.

Men’s 1500m Grit
Running some of the most exciting races of the day, the Gaucho harriers displayed fine running acumen in the 1500m. Freshman Andrew Verdin, pronounced VER-DEAN, took second in the men’s 1500m with a time of 3:56.16. Racing to the wire with UCSD’s Carlos Bojorquez, a fine 3:51 man in the event, Verdin couldn’t overtake him on the final straight but emptied the tank gunning for the victory. Bojorquez would take the win in 3:55.18. Brad Littooy took 9th for the Gauchos running 3:59.54 while Tommy Poston took 10th in 3:59.77.

Austin Goodheart won his heat of the men’s 1500m in 3:59.79 and fueled the afternoon run for the Gaucho Men. A steepler by trade, he was last years fifth place man at the Big West Championship over the barriers, Goodheart stepped down to the 1500m in search of his first sub-4 minute performance. Running with the front pack, Goodheart “went to the arms” on the last lap and his feet followed, opening up the last 200m to secure the victory. Goodheart would finish 11th overall but displayed the integrity of a seasoned UCSB runner with his effort.

Jessica’s Day
Jessica Emde took third in the women’s high jump, clearing 5’8 for the first time in her career. In an all Big West podium finish, Emde rallied for a third attempt clearance at the height of 1.73m to hold pace with Cal Poly’s Danielle Bryan and Long Beach State’s Aundrea Yancy. Each woman cleared the height of 5’8 but the placings were decided on misses.

The Wire
Albert Hughes continued his success in the men’s throws with a second place finish in the men’s hammer. Hughes launched the 16lb. ball a distance of 191’2, a lifetime best, on his fourth round throw. With his throw, Hughes moves to seventh all-time in the UCSB history book. Stepping back into the ring Saturday afternoon in the men’s discus, Hughes threw the second best mark of his career, 163’5, to take fifth overall.

Stanford Results
Running in a field of seven heats, Tyler Brady and Shyan Vaziri descended upon Stanford University in UCSB gunslinger style looking for a race. Brady took second in his heat with a time of 3:48.06 in the 1500m, a season best for the senior harrier. Vaziri would go on to win his heat with a time of 3:48.90 facing several national caliber men, including a national champion and several conference champions from around the country. Running conservative splits out of the gate Vaziri gradually picked up the tempo before unleashing another lethal finishing kick on the field- this time in a numbing 56 second last lap. Vaziri’s finishing kick is quickly earning a reputation around the west and is a hallmark of Head Coach Pete Dolan’s training philosphy and regimen.

San Francisco Results
Bryan Guijarro traveled to San Francisco State on Friday to find a 5,000m race at the annual distance carnival. Guijarro took sixth overall in a field that included a total of 136 runners in five heats!  Guijarro would establish a new personal best with his time of 14:25.39. Guijarro was the fourth overall collegian in the race.

Big West Challenge Up Next For the Gauchos
Friday, April 11th the Gauchos will head to UC Irvine for the Big West Challenge Cup. The field events will start at 2PM and the running events will start at 6PM. The Big West Challenge Cup is an annual competition held between Long Beach St., UC Irvine, Cal St. Fullerton and UC Santa Barbara.